Solar System Exploration
Great Dark Spot
December 17, 2004
Great Dark Spot
This full view of the giant asteroid Vesta was taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, as part of a rotation characterization sequence on July 24, 2011, at a distance of 3,200 miles and shows impact crate...
Capturing the Surface of Asteroid Vesta
Legendary space scientist James van Allen is seen smoking a pipe alongside physicist Edward Smith at a Pioneer 11 press conference in 1974.
Pioneer 11 Press Conference
A plane flies in front of a Blue Moon in July 2015.
Blue Moon and Jet Over Virginia
This high-phase image from the Cassini spacecraft shows dark areas separating faint spokes that are brighter than the rest of Saturn's B ring. At a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 122 de...
Faint Spokes on a Ring
The light of a new day on Saturn illuminates the planet’s wavy cloud patterns and the smooth arcs of the vast rings.
Dawn's Early Light
Atmospheric Detail in the Near Infrared June 2, 2004 Full-Res: PIA05400 Saturn shows white feathery clouds near 45 degrees south ...
Atmospheric Detail in the Near Infrared
Rhea displays a prominent scar in this view from Cassini. A large and ancient impact basin can be seen at upper right. The giant feature occurs within a terrain that appears rugged and which likel...
Reminder of Ages Past
Hovering Mimas September 16, 2004 Full-Res: PIA06478 Saturn's moon Mimas hangs in the sky above Saturn's rings in this Cassini spa...
NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on Aug. 26, 2011. The detail in this image shows a steep scarp with landslides and vertical craters in...
Landslides on Vesta
A relatively young, ice-filled crater near the north pole of Mars.
On Mars the seasonal polar caps are composed of dry ice (carbon dioxide).
Dry Ice on Mars
An extreme false-color view of Tethys reveals a surface detail not visible in a monochrome view taken at the same time. The false-color view shows a color transition from the moon's Saturn-facing ...
Transition on Tethys
Befitting moons named for brothers, the moons Prometheus and Epimetheus share a lot in common.
A Forethought and an Afterthought
This montage of images from the NASA Cassini and Voyager missions shows that structural evolution has occurred in Saturn's D ring (the innermost ring) during the quarter century separating the two ...
D Ring Revelations
Only a slice of Iapetus is illuminated in this image, but still the Cassini spacecraft spies the distinctive two-tone surface of this distant Saturnian moon. Lit terrain seen here is on the leadin...
Saturn's moon Pandora casts its shadow upon the F ring. Moon shadows upon the rings will become an increasingly common sight for Cassini as equinox approaches and the Sun moves northward through th...
+ Also see Titan's Lingering Clouds -- Annotated Lots of clouds are visible in this infrared image of Saturn's moon Titan. These clouds form and move much like those on Earth, but in a much slower...
Titan's Lingering Clouds
This image from NASA's Dawn mission shows the topography of the northern and southern hemispheres of the giant asteroid Vesta, updated with pictures obtained during Dawn's last look back.
Shape of Vesta
This still from an animation showcases a series of images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf pl...
Animation of Ceres
Saturn's rings cast wide shadows on the planet, and the shadow of a moon also graces the gas giant in this scene from the Cassini spacecraft. The moon Enceladus is not shown in this view, but it d...
Shadows on a Giant
The Cassini spacecraft looks upward at the swirling clouds of Saturn's southern hemisphere. The C and B rings are seen at right, beyond the planet's nightside limb. This view looks toward the sunl...
Saturn From Below
The Cassini spacecraft captured this image of a small object in the outer portion of Saturn's B ring casting a shadow on the rings as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox. This new moonlet, s...
A Small Find Near Equinox
This image from NASA's Dawn spacecraft of Ceres shows a portion of a large crater with prominent spurs of compacted material and gullies along its rim.
Dawn LAMO Image 82
The "opposition effect" can be seen in this image of Saturn's B ring. The bright spot occurs where the angle between the spacecraft, the Sun and the rings is near zero. Studies of the opposition e...
Saturn and its satellites Tethys (outer left), Enceladus (inner left) and Mimas (right of rings) are seen in this mosaic of images taken by NASA's Voyager 1 on Oct. 30, 1980, from a distance of 18 ...
Saturn with Moons
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